Remember, thou art mortal.

A couple of weeks ago, I fell down on a totally flat, completely uncluttered piece of The Convent’s floor. Since I’m terminally klutzy and therefore used to operating under a panoply of aches and pains, I didn’t pay much attention until about a week later, when I was trying to figure out why my left foot was horribly swollen. Since I was able to walk on it, and it only hurt if I twisted it juuust right, I determined I’d sprained it.

Now, before everyone starts hollering, I don’t have health insurance, but I do have nine years of classical ballet and seven of martial arts training (western sword), I know the difference between fractures, sprains, strains, tears, et cetera from personal experience.

I immediately called Sr. Sister, who had done some time as an Assistant Sports Therapist, for a refresher course in sprained ankles.

“How long am I looking at before I can start exercising?” I asked. Not that I was exercising when I hurt the ankle, but I’ve been thinking about joining a gym.

“Six to eight weeks, depending,” Sr. Sister replied.

Flash forward to this Thursday, when I got some kind of stomach bug that’s tearing its way through Portland. I decide, heck, I haven’t been all bleaurghy in about twelve hours, it’s been three weeks since I fell down went boom, it’s a lovely day, I should start some mild physical therapy (PT), both to get my ankle back into shape, and myself back into something approaching going-to-the-gym shape.

Remember all that dance and martial arts training? My idea of mild is a three mile walk, followed by a half-hour of calisthenics and then another forty-five minutes of drills. I got about halfway through my warmup stretches and ditched everything but a couple of strength and balance drills. One of the balance drills is standing on one foot, unsupported. I used to be able to do this for upwards of fifteen minutes. When I was standing on my injured ankle, I think I made about two seconds.

I’d had these ideas of what my current physical shape was, and where I could go from there. I’ve had to drastically reevaluate them in these last few days, and resolve them downwards. I probably will never bench-press 350 again, I’d known that, but I’m now having to realise I’ll probably be lucky if I can get up to 150.

I’m going to be looking pretty hard at my (personal, individual, no vowed obedience to any bishop, pastor, or book club) Rule of Life in these next few weeks. This was a scheduled review with my spiritual advisor. I know I’m nowhere near what I have written down, ergo the review. I’m a little scared about how much it’s going to have to be reduced to actually fit into what I’m able to do. I’ve had these ideas of who I was, and who I wanted to be.

I think I’m ready to let them go, though. There’s just no way I’m getting up at 5am for Morning Prayer and an hour of lecto divina, that’s not who I am.

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